I strongly suspect this is the same bird I reported to this list that I saw at Forde ponds on 4th Jan, which I (apparently incorrectly) concluded was probably
a Lewin's Rail:
On 4/1/2014 I wrote:
I am fairly confident I saw a Lewin's Rail in Forde this afternoon, on the side of the bike path at
-35.172175, 149.146030 (I was riding to Mulligan's Flat)
I jumped off my bike and followed in around a bit without binoculars or a camera at hand. I didn't get a good look at its head, bill or front, but there was clearly no white at all on its back, rather distinctive Rufous/brown and black
feathers; also barred under tail, so I am pretty confident.
You'll notice that part of the reason I went for Lewin's rail was that "there was clearly no white at all on its back". I have just checked again and
my field guides all show and describe the Buff-Banded Rail as having (e.g.) "Upperparts … edged with white spots" (Simon and Day).
I agree that the bird in you photos is clearly a Buff-Banded Rail based on its facial/neck markings. But am intrigued by the similar lack of feathers "edged
with white spots" on its back as in the bird I observed. Either this is not a universal characteristic, or is at least not as obvious as the guides suggest it to be.
From: Julie Clark [
Sent: Thursday, 16 January 2014 12:48 PM
To: COG Chatline
Subject: [canberrabirds] Buff-banded Rail at Forde?
This morning I sat and watched what I think was a Buff-banded Rail at Forde ... hiding and re-appearing for some time ... at a considerable distance...
Having never seen one before, confirmation would be great!
Many thanks and stay cool